Mary Todd Lincoln, however, was not the only first lady who was ridiculed by the public and press.
Jackie Kennedy was criticized for her couture clothing, Nancy Reagan for her use of astrology, and Hillary Clinton for her ambition.
They were designed by her close friend and freed slave Elizabeth Keckly, another reason she was scorned.
She held seances in the Executive Mansion as a way to connect to her family that had passed before her.
In this regard, the past certainly does meet the present. Lincoln’s many issues and society’s misunderstanding of how to deal with them, perhaps we can look at her and our other first ladies with compassion for the tremendous stresses of the times in which they lived.
She thought Indian spirits were taking bones from her face and pulling wires from her eyes.
She stuffed her pockets and petticoat with ,000 dollars in securities (worth more than a million dollars today), yet she thought she was impoverished.
An alternative diagnosis might have been bipolar disorder, as she had episodes of depression and periods of extreme highs and overexcitement also known as hypomania. Mary Todd Lincoln had tremendous loss and sadness throughout her life.
Yet she herself was never popular, or even well-liked, and was criticized when she and President Lincoln were living in the Executive Mansion, now known as the White House. Critics believed she spent too much money decorating the Executive Mansion.
She purchased an overabundance of were lavish, flowing, and finely detailed.
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